Tullynally Castle is only an hour's drive from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone; it also makes for a pleasant daytrip for guests at any of the Radisson Blu Dublin hotels.
About Tullynally CastleThe name Tullynally comes from the Irish Tulaigh an Eallaigh, or Hill of the Swan, which may come from its proximity to Lough Derravaragh, traditionally associated with the Children of Lir, legendary figures who were transformed into swans. The land was granted to Henry Pakenham in the period following the Cromwellian civil wars, and he proceeded to construct a large, square, Georgian-style house on the site, as well as formal gardens.
It was only in the early 19th century, after the family had inherited the title of Earl of Longford, that the castle acquired the striking gothic appearance it has today. Influenced by the burgeoning Gothic Revival, the then Earl added towers and battlements to give the Georgian manor a castle-like appearance. Further gothic additions were carried out throughout the 19th century, around which time the gardens also began to gain renown under the care of Georgiana, wife of the 2nd Earl.
Today most visitors come to see the 12 acres of landscaping, including walled and woodland gardens, a 200-year-old avenue of yew trees, and two ornamental lakes, as well as more modern additions such as the Chinese gardens and carved wooden sculptures. Guided tours of parts of the castle's interior can also be arranged by contacting the family in advance of your visit.